Steelheads sneak past Grizzlies in Utah

Steelheads sneak past Grizzlies in Utah
West Valley City, UT (2/17/14) - Brock Montgomery's one-timer from the left-wing circle at the 9:14 mark of the third period proved to be the winning margin Monday afternoon as the Idaho Steelheads outlasted the Utah Grizzlies, 3-2, in front of 9,862 fans in West Valley City, UT.

Goaltender Pat Nagle turned in a steady, 33-save performance as Utah had nine power-play opportunities in the game, converting just once. With the win, Idaho is now 27-17-5, including 7-1-1 in its past nine contests, and has slipped past the Colorado Eagles into third place in the ECHL's Western Conference.

Utah scored first at 7:04 of the first on a DJ Jelitto goal and Idaho came up empty on three power-play opportunities of its own in the opening frame, including a minute and a half of two-man advantage midway through the period.

The Steelheads got things evened up late in the second period when Rob Linsmayer found David deKastrozza cutting to the net. deKastrozza's forehand beat Utah's Aaron Dell to the high side at 14:35 of the second, his ninth of the season. He nearly un-tied the game just over a minute later but his shot ricocheted off the crossbar. The Steelheads then had to kill off a minute of 5-on-3 power play time for Utah in order to keep the game tied going into the final period.

Idaho took the lead early in the third on a Mitch Wahl goal. The former Grizzly zoomed down the right wing, cut to the net and beat Dell with a nifty backhand at 2:58 to make it 2-1. Wahl's 13th of the season was assisted by Montgomery. Utah tied it 59 seconds later on a Martin Lee power-play shot from the center point that found its way through traffic to tie it up at 2-2.

Midway through the third, Idaho had an offensive-zone draw in the left-wing circle. Wahl won the draw cleanly to Montgomery, who blasted a one-timer over Dell's shoulder at 9:14 of the third to give Idaho a 3-2 lead.

From there, the Steelheads had to hold off the charging Grizzlies. The Idaho penalty-kill unit came through one more time with less than seven minutes to go before holding on once Utah emptied its net in favor of an extra attacker for the final minute of the game.

Nagle picked up his 17th win of the season for Idaho with his 33-save effort. Dell took the loss for Utah, allowing three goals on 25 shots. Both team's penalty-killing units were solid, Idaho's going 8-for-9 and Utah's countering with a perfect 6-for-6.

Idaho remains in Utah for games Wednesday and Friday before returning home for Reusable Bag Night on Saturday, February 22. Once again, the opponent will be the Utah Grizzlies. Tickets are available online at www.idahosteelheads.com or by calling 208-331-8497.

COORS OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE GAME - Mitch Wahl (G/A)

CENTURYLINK THREE STARS:
1) DJ Jelitto (UT)
2) Martin Lee (UT)
3) Aaron Dell (UT)